Juvenile idiopathic epilepsy in Egyptian Arabian foals: 22 Cases (1985-2005)

Monica R Aleman, Leah C. Gray, D. Colette Williams, Terrell A. Holliday, John E Madigan, Richard A Lecouteur, K G Magdesian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background: Epilepsy is relatively uncommon in horses compared with other species and limited information is available. Hypothesis: The objectives of the study were to describe the age of onset, clinical signs, clinicopathologic data, electroencephalographic findings, treatment, and outcome, including long-term prognosis in Arabian foals with idiopathic epilepsy. Animals: Twenty-two foals were included in the study. Materials and Methods: Medical records from 1985 to 2005 were reviewed. Results: The age of onset of affected foals ranged from 2 days to 6 months. Seizures were characterized by generalized tonic and clonic motor activity, staring, and loss of consciousness. The most common postictal signs were transient blindness and abnormal mental status. The interictal neurologic examination was otherwise normal. Clinicopathologic data and imaging diagnostics were normal except in 4 foals that developed complications. Electroencephalography revealed epileptiform activity in 9 of 13 foals. Foals were treated with benzodiazepines for the short-term; whereas phenobarbital was used over the long-term. Potassium bromide was added in 3 foals in which seizures were multiple, frequent, and difficult to control. The long-term prognosis was favorable with cessation of seizures by 1 year of age. The most common complication was head trauma. The most common concurrent disease was pneumonia. Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Juvenile idiopathic epilepsy of Egyptian Arabian foals has an early clinical onset but appears to be self-limiting. Information obtained from this study strongly suggests a heritable condition that merits further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1443-1449
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Arabian foals
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy
  • Phenobarbital
  • Potassium bromide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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